Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Randomness....

  • I have a love/hate relationship with Wednesday. Maybe because it's such a pain in the butt to spell. In a way, it is the middle of the work week/school week, so that's good. But also for us, it's a stay-at-home and catch up on school work and house work day. So that's no fun.

  • Plus, there is only one good TV show on tonight. Boo. (Criminal Minds)

  • Anyway, I'm supposed to be sweeping/mopping the kitchen right now, while Elijah does his busy work and Sophia naps. But alas, here I am.

  • What is going on with the slashes today? I guess I like them.

  • Also, the word alas. It makes me think of Dumbledore, good old Dumbledore.

  • Which reminds me, basically the only thing on my Christmas list this year is the last Harry Potter movie. OOOh and the Lord of the Rings extended edition on Blu-Ray. Ugh, but it's pricey. Boo.

  • Yes, I know I'm a geek/nerd/dork whatever...

  • In other news, the four of us are now mostly healthy. (yay) Sophia and I still have a bit of a lingering cough, but other than that, we're good. About time too, we'd hardly left the house in two weeks. Everyone was about to go a little insane!

  • We have a busy, busy weekend ahead of us. Saturday alone will be crazy, we'll be putting up the tree, making some Christmas goodies to snack on. Oh and watching the SEC championship game, GEORGIA v LSU!! So excited. Sunday we're having company, also excited for that.

  • What else? Oh I can't wait to watch Christmas movies, though it's still a tad early. Espcially Christmas Vacation (a Conley family tradition) and White Christmas (seriously, my all time favorite movie EVER! My blog name even comes from it!). I might be watching that one alone... Oh and Home Alone with the kids, oh and Polar Express. Love Christmas movies!

Ugh, I think I'd better go, I hear rustling noises coming from the room where someone is supposed to be napping!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Thanksgiving or Christmas Conundrum...

It's a lifelong debate between most adults...which is better Thanksgiving or Christmas? We all know how kids feel about the two, but I think most grown ups would agree that Thanksgiving is the superior one of the two. For one thing, it's not about buying and exchanging gifts. It's simply about good food and good company. Normally I would agree. Except I really, really love presents! Also, I might have agreed a few years ago, when we would spend the holiday with family. And when my mom, or my mother-in-law were doing the majority of the cooking!

It's not that I mind the cooking, really, I love to cook. And I've never had any huge Thanksgiving disasters. For the most part we have been enjoying the past three Thanksgivings, spent with just our little family. Except for one thing. I do all the cooking. All of it. This probably woudn't be as big of a deal if I didn't insist on cooking so much!

Here's our menu for this Thanksgiving: turkey, gravy, cornbread dressing, brocolli cheese casserole, rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie. Excluding cranberry suace, all was made from scratch, by me. I was baking on Tuesday! Anyway, I'm not complaining, not really, but dang that's a lot of cooking! I enjoy every bite, and I pretty much refuse to cook anything until all the leftovers are done.

And by the time the table is set, the food is all ready to go, the kids are dressed and in their seats...I look like this...


Haha, hello mad face! (Thank you Matthew, for snapping this picture of me.) Also, yeah I need to take the meat cleaver off the wall. But that's such a handy place to keep it.

All that just to say this: from now on, Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. Well, unless Matthew requests duck for Christmas dinner...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not feeling it...

I know this is the time of year when one (aka ME) loves to write a sappy post about how I'm thankful for every-freaking-thing... alas, this is not the time.

Why? I'm still sick. Well, sick-ish. Not sleeping well, coughing and blowing my nose. Yay. On the other hand, I will say I'm super-thankful for the fact that Sophia finally seems to be on the mend. I swear I hadn't even seen her so much as smile since Friday! And yesterday when she got up from her nap she was actually playing, smiling and talking! It's really hard seeing your baby so miserable, so I am thankful for that.

Aaaaand if you came here for sappy posts, I already wrote's down there somewhere.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving if I don't see you again...because I'm dead or something. Just kidding.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Ahh, who am I kidding? Let's just say it was the absolute worst of times and be done with it, shall we?

So, in case you're wondering why I say this, let me fill you in. We're sick. Every last one of us. All at varying stages of a wicked cold. Elijah started it, so let's blame him. He had a fever, oh week before last on a Thursday, by Saturday he was coughing and blowing his nose. The week went on and still no one else got sick. I had hoped that for some crazy reason he wasn't contagious or something. Well, that was stupid of me! I don't remember now if it was Friday or Thursday, but Sophia came down with a fever too. And we all know as moms, that a fever is almost always the harbinger of doom. Friday came, and by the evening I noticed something even more disturbing. I had a sore throat. Which for most adults is...the harbinger of doom, or in this case: death.

Friday night was pretty miserable. I was in the beginning stages of a cold and Sophia was now coughing and congested and pretty much unable to sleep. We decided that the only way she was going to get any sleep was if one of us sat up with her in bed. Oh lovely. Have I ever mentioned I don't like co-sleeping, at all? I don't. Especially not when my baby sounds like Darth Vader and I already have one foot in the grave. But we did set up the air mattress out in the libaray and took her in shifts. As a result she slept as good as she could. And the the 2.5 hours of sleep I got were pretty great too. (Yeah, that was sarcastic.) Saturday morning Sophia seemed a lot better. I went back to bed until around nine and woke up feeling surprisingly better.

So what did we decide to do? Stay home and take it easy all day? Of course not, we went to a football game! Granted, the weather wasn't cold, we had the tickets already and the sickies were feeling pretty good for once. At this point Elijah just had a lingering cough, so he was mostly better. The game was fun. We went to the Yale - Harvard game. (No we didn't even know about the tailgating incident until we came home. They did mention at halftime that there had been an accident before the game, but we assumed it was a car crash.) Anyway, around the third quarter, Sophia and I were quickly deteriorating, so we headed home. We both slept almost the entire afternoon.

Once again, I wake up feeling okay. Sophia not so much. That leads me to Matthew, now it's his turn to get sick. Which also meant I was on my own, co-sleeping with the baby. He took nyquil, s there was no way he was going to sleep with her. (Why do you need to know all this? I don't know, it's my blog and this what I feel like talking about today.) Anywho, Saturday night was a little better than Friday. Except that I woke up at 5 a.m. after putting Sophia back in her bed, I was starving and feverish. So I did what any normal person would do. Grabbed a box of cookies, brought them to bed with me, and wrote for a little while. Now, I actually managed to write TWO synopsis for my book, which is great. But I'm pretty sure I was mostly delirious at the time, so I'm a little afraid how they might turn out. Oh well.

Sunday was much like Saturday. Without the football game and with a sick husband to take care of as well. At this point I moved into trying to psyche myself out of being sick. Which usually doesn't work, but whatever. But I am happy to say that this morning I am feeling mostly better, except blowing my nose constantly. Elijah hardly coughed at all last night so I'm hoping he'll be 100% soon. Sophia is coughing awfully bad, but she seems in good spirits. Matthew on the other hand, is the one in bad shape. And of course, he had to go to work today. Fortunately he's out of school all week, though he was counting on this week to work on his papers. He can only work Mon-Wed this week, so he had to go this morning. He has one of those lovely jobs where if you're sick and can't work, then you don't get paid. Which is fun, right? Hopefully he'll make it through the day okay.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll all be close to healthy on Thanksgiving. Otherwise...well, it would really suck!

Friday, November 18, 2011


So by now, unless you've been living under a rock, you've already seen one or all of the amazing pictures we had taken. Because I've been spamming the internet with them ever since I saw the first one. Needless to say, I'm sort of in love.

Just this morning I sat down to put together our family Christmas card online. Immediately I found myself drawn to the ones with the headline "Joy".

Wonder why?

Hoppers (46 of 68)
(Sorry if you've seen this about a million times already.)

Well, yeah, I would believe that pretty much represents joy, don't you? Joy is like happiness times ten, I think.

Matthew and I were talking about Christmas gifts the other day, and I was surprised (very surprised!) that I had so few things on my list. We don't spend much money on oursleves on a daily basis, almost none, unless completely necessary. So usually Christmas is our time to get a few things for ourselves. For me that mostly includes clothes, and a few CDs or movies I have been wanting.

This year I feel pretty content. Though I'm not turning down the fabulous riding boots my mom already bought me. I think there's a pretty good reason why my Christmas list is so short this year and here's why...

I already have everything I could ever want, right here, right now.Hoppers (60 of 68)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You know...

It would be easier for me to write my book synopsis when I'm suddenly struck with a revelation if I could find a freakin' blank sheet of paper!!!

Seriously, almost every time I'm at Wal-Mart, which honestly, isn't too often, I try to pick up a three pack of white legal pads. This has been my paper of choice ever since I started working on this project back in January.

So why is it there's not a single sheet to spare? Someone is writing too much. Ehh that would be me. I love writing long hand, but it's cost me a ton in ink refill, I'm sure.

Ah, found one. I have ONE notebook with some blank sheets. Hallelujah. Now what was my idea again?

In a world gone MAD!

That's how it starts.

Just kidding.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Randomness...

I can't believe it's Wednesday, why? Because it totally feels like a Monday. A crappy, boring, INSANE Monday. Why am I blogging now, you ask? This is usually prime teaching time. Well, because my soon-t0-be eighteen month old is on a little reign of terror and I can't get a thing done until she crashes. Which will hopefully be soon.


  • I can't believe it's going to be Thanksgiving next Thursday?? I really need to sit down and get my menu together and make my mile-long grocery list. I love Thanksgiving, but I dread the shopping. I'm even planning on taking Matthew to work Monday morning so I can do my all-important turkey selection. I will be in the zone. Don't call. Of course I'll have both kids with me so that will make it interesting.
  • Speaking of kids, I feel a little bad lately all my blog posts on the family blog have been about Sophia, I really need to do one about Elijah. I guess I don't post much about him because anything to do with him would be regarding school and I don't want to brag too much. *ahem* Okay maybe I do just a little. The last book he read was "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe". WHAT?!?
  • I'm honestly a little freaked out by him lately. I feel like he'll be smarter than me, and probably taller, in just a few short years and I won't know what to do with him!
  • And then there's Sophia, who will be wearing my shoes, stealing my clothes and borrowing my make-up all too soon.
  • Sigh. Let's change the subject.
  • My book! Oh my book. I'm still stewing on my ideas for a synopsis. Trying to decide what it is exactly that will set my book apart from all the others out there. My problem is that I have NO gimmick. There's no vampires or witches and it's certainly not "dystopian". Which I hear is the new thing... Nope, it's just completely normal. But hey, maybe that's what I should focus on, the ordinary becoming extraordinary. Hmmm...
  • Speaking of my book, I just realized last night that I worked on my first book for FOUR years. That's pretty cray-cray right? And it remains unfinished. You know how long it took me to write my current book? Eight months. BOOYAH!
  • Not to mention I'm halfway though the rough draft of my second.
  • What else? Oooh Christmas shopping! I'm totally loving it this year. Last year Sophia was still very much a baby, so there was only so much she could get into. This year will be so much fun. Matthew and I split the shopping for the kids, he shops for Elijah and I shop for Sophia. So far I've gotten her a Sleeping Beauty Barbie doll. Also on my list is a pillow pet (she loves them!) and a tea set. Ahhhh, what can I say? I love having a little girl!
  • Dude, we're totally tailgating at the Yale game on Saturday. That's how we roll.
I think that's all, for now. Time to go try and put the little monkey to bed. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm not afraid...

Or at least that's what I'm trying to convince myself.

Last night I made a big choice, one that probably should have been a no-brainer, but for me it wasn't. I decided I would take the next step in trying to get my book published. What that basically involves is trying to find an agent. To find an agent you basically have to send out a million emails containing your "query". A query is just a brief synopsis of your book and a author bio. Doesn't sound to hard right? Well, yes and no. But I'm getting ahead of myself already.

See, I've pretty much finished with the editing process, obviously I had a ton of help from THE Laura Case, who I'm sort of indebted to forever. And I've reached the inevitable "now what?" phase of the writing process. As of last night I was fully convinced that e-publishing is the way to go. All you do is upload your PDF file, set your price and BAM you get %70 of the profits. Which means if I'm lucky, I could make fifty bucks! As soon as I told Matthew this idea he adamantly told me no. (The nerve!) He said he wanted me to try getting published for real. I immediately went into this huge tirade about how that's a one in a million chance and I might as well try and win the lottery or American Idol for that matter. I emailed Laura (rather frantically a few times, sorry) and she basically said the same thing. GO BIG OR GO HOME!

Well....I'm not going home. After googling around a little I found an amazing website that helps put aspiring writers in touch with agents who are looking for clients. It made me feel so much better to have the next possible step laid out in front of me. For now I have a to-do list in my head before I can start sending out my queries. For one, I've got to get my query written. I've been doing a lot of brainstorming on my synopsis and hopefully I'll have something ready soon.

So, big deal right? I mean, for me, just saying I'm going to go for this is a HUGE step. I know there are many people in my life who won't let me give up with out trying, and that is a great feeling. As scary and daunting as the road ahead of me may be at this point, something did occur to me last night. I wrote a book. Already. It's done! I did it. I have more coming. That in itself is a huge accomplishment for an aspiring writer, and I shouldn't let myself forget that.

Basically, it's a long shot, but at this point it seems like a shot worth taking.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Counting down...

I'm the kind of person who likes to have things to look forward to. I'm assuming that's a pretty normal trait. Usually I just pick something one to two weeks away to look forward too, just to get me through the mundane tasks or boring weeks when there's not too much going on.

Ehh, well, life is pretty mundane and boring most of the time isn't it? And usually when it's not it's because of something bad... Wait, well, scratch that last, it's really not that bad! But I do get a case of "Groundhog day" every once and while.

What was I saying? It seems this happens to me a lot. I come here to say something, or make a not-so-important point, then I start rambling and completely forget what I was talking about in the first place. Story of my life.

Right, so looking forward. This week I'm looking forward to next Saturday, because we're going to the "Yale Bowl". AKA Yale V Harvard! I'm so excited. For one, I've never been to a college football game before. Despite having lived in one of the biggest college football towns in the South, within walking distance of the stadium no less! I have, however, been to an NFL game, surprisingly. So I'm really excited. And all four of us get to go. If you didn't know this already, and I"m sure you do if you read my family blog, everyone in this family LOVES football. College and NFL. Now, the Yale Bulldogs are not exactly the Georgia Bulldogs, but they'll do. Fingers crossed that the weather stays cool and sunny like it's been lately.

So, yeah, should be fun. Or insane, with two kids. As always, Sophia is the wild-card. She really could go either way with this sort of thing, you just never know.

Speaking of counting down (not to totally freak you out!) but do yo realize it's TWO WEEKS until Thanksgiving??! What the??? That's crazy, right? Not only that, but as soon as it's Thanksgiving it will be four weeks until Christmas. Uggghhhhh... I have bought some Christmas presents for the kids (basically the only people we shop for) but still. Oh and also, Matthew's birthday is on the tenth of December so that's one more thing to prepare for...which I'm not prepared for.

Fun stuff. At least there's a lot to look forward to!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've always joked around about the fact that I seem to have mild OCD. Specifically when it comes to cleaning the house. I just can't stand messes, period. Still, I've never considered myself to be one of those super-crazy neat freaks. I mean, I let my kids make messes, I just make them clean it up afterward! I only do laundry twice a week. Vacuum, sweep and mop once a week. So I'm certainly not out of control or anything.

Or so I thought...

See, we don't have a dishwasher. In fact, in the six years I've been married I've only had a dishwasher for nine months out of that. The nine glorious months we lived in our pretty little townhouse in Athens, with TWO bathrooms AND a dishwasher. Heaven on earth, right there. So, anyway, we're back to no dishwasher here. But at least in this house, as opposed to our old, tiny campus apartment we lived in when Matthew was attending UGA, we at least have a double sink. The only downside of having the double sink, with no garbage disposal is that if one sink gets even remotely clogged, the other one backs up as well. Seriously, I could get a job as a plumber, I'm so good at unclogging kitchen sinks...but I digress. What was I talking about? Oh right, cleaning OCD...

Well, the other night I woke up at two a.m., I think I was checking on Sophia because she had made some noise. (Did I also mention I have super-sensitive hearing? Yeah that's fun.) Anyway, on my way back from the kids room I noticed a funny smell coming from the kitchen. I went back to bed and tried to sleep, but the smell and the possible source was still bothering me. Finally I decided it must have been coming from the sink, specifically the second sink, which all the gross food and stuff seems to get backed up in. Is this really gross? Sorry. So, I get back up out of bed and go out to the kitchen. The second sink is usually covered by my giant dish drainer so I move that to the side. Sure enough, the sink is super-gross. So what do I do? I clean it! I'm talking full on scrub and bleach. Also, it's one of those old-fashioned deep sinks, so this is no small task. Finally satisfied that my sink is non-stinky I go back to bed.

Now, when I wake up the next morning I have almost no memory of my nighttime cleaning. But when I go into the kitchen I can't help but notice the dish drainer in the wrong spot (because I have OCD right? It doesn't go THERE!) and the sink all shiny and sparkly. At first, like any sane person, I think the sink-cleaning fairy has visited us. But then I vaguely remember cleaning the sink at two a.m. in my pjs, half asleep.

This makes it kind of official, doesn't it?

*Cue people inviting me to spend the night at their house in hopes I might clean their shower.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the menu for tonight...

Hungarian goulash, and homemade honey-wheat rolls. Yum!

NOT anything like icky American goulash, which I believe is ground beef with tomatoes and egg noodles, right? Hungarian goulash is beef cubes slow cooked with tomato puree, onion and lots of smokey Hungarian paprika, served over rice. It is so freaking good!

Yup, I've got skills in the kitchen.

Only thanks to my mom, though, those are both her recipes.

Now I'm hungry!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I knew this would happen...

I sold my soul to Pinterest...I mean I signed up for Pinterest and I all I have to show for it are my sticky, craft-glue covered hands and a kitchen floor littered with construction paper scraps.

I hate crafts.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I'm a total wuss when it comes to cold. I'm 100 percent "cold natured". Now, seeing as I how I spent the last twelve years in the South, this has never been too much of a problem. But then we moved to New England two years ago, so it became a very big problem.

Our first winter here was 2009, and it wasn't too bad, to be quite honest. For Matthew and Elijah, both born and raised in Georgia, the snow thing was all new and novel. I'd spent a few winters in Germany, so I've been in snow before. Still, it was a good winter. We went to Rockefeller and saw the tree. Yeah we froze our butts off. But snow in NYC on the weekend before Christmas...well, it was kind of magical. Also I was pregnant with Sophia that winter, so I'd like to believe that had something to do with not being as cold as I usually was. It didn't snow too much that winter. And we couldn't have complained even if it did. See, we chose to move here, and we were still trying to prove to ourselves that we didn't hate it here.

Now, last winter, the epic winter of ' broke us. Seriously, you know how much snow we got l last winter? I don't either. But I think it was somewhere in the ballpark of 70 inches. Total. Craziness. After that winter I gladly said that I hate New England winters and will gladly move back down South ASAP!!!

Summers are great here though...and fall, usually. Not this fall though.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I hate being cold. And it is cold here already! I already said it snowed this past weekend, that doesn't bode well AT ALL. I'm just not looking forward to being snowed in for weeks on end. Ugh.

We're supposed to be getting family pictures taken this Saturday, outside. Hopefully it won't be too cold. Although it would be rather Christmasy if our teeth were chattering and our lips were blue...